Does anyone remember that song? That cried a river and drowned the whole world? I don’t know why I was thinking about that, as I am sitting in a coffee shop (yes, my new office), waiting for my business partner. I am just coming back from a meeting which my friend invited me too – it’s called BNI. At first I was skeptical, but as I sat there I realized something profound. I know absolutely nothing about networking. Not just networking, I know nothing about a lot of things. Most things actually.
I think the Zen Buddhists call it the beginners mind. But let me rephrase that. I knew something about it, and I got by. That was my previous incarnation. But now that I’m entering this new phase, I need to seriously re-skill. And this is one of the skills I want to pick up.
A few other skills: understanding marketing. My boyfriend helped me realize that marketing is basically storytelling, to a person who really wants to hear the story. Seth Godin says a similar thing. Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King were some of the best storytellers out there. And they had patterns for how they tell stories. I’m trying to study them and tell good stories. Nancy Duarte has a great TED talk on this.
Networking is just being helpful, but in an organized way. This BNI chapter will help with that I think. I was in awe at their dedication to the art and craft of networking. They are of the opinion that spending 10K hours on something, with the right guidance, produces really great stuff. I think they’re right.
Technical competence. I am, for the most part, technically incompetent. At least I was 6 months ago. I’ve been working at understanding the new world language: web programming. That term is vague for all the people that really understand this stuff. But I took a course on the basics of bootstrap, and I wasn’t sure how effective it was. Until yesterday, when I realized we need to redo our website. Now I knew there was no way in hell that I was going to be able to redo it, but I think I made progress because my business partner sent me templates, and I could pick one out and knew what we’d need to change (i.e. if it was possible to change) to fit it to our needs. That was pretty exciting. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point where I’m making my own website, but I’m also betting that there will be great GUI’s for that in the future. I want to focus on understanding what needs to be done and sussing out feasibility. And continue being able to do more on my own.
I am a horrific designer. My friend recommended a book, Design of Everyday Things. I’m hoping it will shed light on this mysterious topic. I desperately want to be able to build better product. Right now, I think my skills are almost non existent. I need to at least be able to contribute to some sort of idea of excellence. Right now, I don’t even know what that is.
I am passionate about being a great entrepreneur. I think that means that I know a little about a lot of things. I also have to figure out the things that I’m going to know a lot about. I am currently gravitating towards marketing, and more UI/UX stuff on product. Mockups and the like. Product still terrifies me, which is clearly why I need to just dig in and work at it. I’m going to start with that book.
Le sigh. So much to do.